China to provide US$ 3.5 bln railway loan to Pakistan

LAHORE: China will provide US$ 3.5 billion soft loan to Pakistan for repair and maintenance of the railway infrastructure from Karachi to Peshawar, Pakistan Railways sources said.

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Citing Pakistan Railways sources, ARY News reported that a delegation of Chinese technical experts will visit Pakistan this month to pick the areas for an investment of $3.5 billion and complete the rehabilitation and replacement of tracks from Karachi to Peshawar.

The delegation of Chinese experts would undertake a comprehensive survey of the 1,400-km rail track.

The survey would also cover 2,340 railway bridges and 11 tunnels from Karachi to Peshawar.

The team will prepare a report and submit it in February next year to the governments of China and Pakistan for further deliberation and reaching agreements.

China has expressed interest in pouring about $3.5 billion into infrastructure development for the railways.

The investment is a loan being given by China at a concessionary interest rate of 1.5% under the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor, official sources said.

The loan will be released by the Export-Import Bank of China after receiving sovereign guarantees from the Pakistan government.

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China to provide US$ 3.5 bln railway loan to Pakistan

by Shakoor Nizamani